Vietnam's $4-billion casino project to resume with new Hong Kong investor

Thanh Nien News

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An undated photo of a salesperson tending to clients at a Chow Tai Fook jewelry outlet in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP
Hong Kong's Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd has become the main investor of a US$4-billion casino near the popular tourist town Hoi An, a project that has been stalled since 2012, local media reported.
VinaCapital, whose subsidiary VinaLand Limited was originally the largest investor of the Nam Hoi An Casino Resort project, confirmed the recent deal.
It is unclear how much Chow Tai Fook has invested in the project. VinaLand has reduced its stake in the casino from 80 percent to 22.55 percent to become "a strategic shareholder," but is expected to increase it to nearly 32 percent in the future, news website VnExpress reported.
Chow Tai Fook is run by Hong Kong's fourth richest person Cheng Yu Tung, who acquired 70 percent of Sun City last year.
Some news reports earlier this year said Macau-based Sun City Group had joined the project.
Initially Vinaland partnered with Malaysia's Genting Berhard in the 150-hectare casino project in Quang Nam's Duy Xuyen District. 
They acquired a license at the end of 2010, but less than two years later the Malaysian investor pulled out, reportedly due to Vietnam's restriction on gambling.
Currently only foreigners and Vietnamese with dual nationality can enter casinos. 
Last year the finance ministry suggested opening casinos to Vietnamese residents of legal age.

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